Energy Photovoltaics (EPV) is the third of six companies that Zoltan Kiss founded and the first one that is surviving the test of time. Following the bankruptcy of Chronar (see story above) and the dissolution of its successor, Advanced Photovoltaic Systems, Kiss returned to the fray in 1991 to open what is now a 50-person firm. It has just signed a lease to add 63,000 square feet at 8 Marlet Drive, represented by Bill Barish of Commercial Property Network, but will retain its headquarters, 38,000 square feet on Bakers Basin Road.
EPV is a solar energy company that primarily designs, develops, manufactures, and markets thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules and Integrated Manufacturing Systems for the growing international PV marketplace.
In the 1990s EPV was primarily an R&D shop, but in 2000 the board of directors infused the company with $14 million so it could add manufacturing.
James W. Groelinger led the investment group to make this happen. He came on as CEO with the stated intention of eventually taking the company public.
The controlling shares are held by Integrated Electrical Services, Inc. (www.ielectric.com), Energy InnovationsPortfolio AG & Co KGaA (www.accera.de); and one individual), and about 200 other individual shareholders.
Kiss, who was now EPV’s chief technology officer and board president, laid the groundwork for his own manufacturing firm, Terra Solar. After a year and a half he separated from EPV, and his name is no longer on the EPV website.
CEO James F. Groelinger has an engineering degree from City College of New York and an MBA from Temple. He was a process engineer at Monsanto, and vice president of the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation. He worked in Pakistan and India on electrical purchasing project, was an advisor in the United Kingdom on the privatization of regional electric companies, was a director of an international energy strategy firm, and most recently was senior vice president for business development for CHI Energy Inc., a Stamford, CT-based renewable energy company.
Energy Photovoltaic’s primary commercial product is the EPV-40, a 40-watt, tandem junction, amorphous silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic module. Its researchers are working a next-generation module that could nearly double the module’s efficiency. Possible new technologies are nano-crystalline silicon (nc-Si) and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS).
Among EPV’s recent deals: a $20 million contract in Hyderabad, India, resulting in 18 new manufacturing jobs at the Bakers Basin headquarters; a $5 million, two-year contract with a New York State company for amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules..The latest announcement — EPV contributed 99 Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) windows incorporated into the design of the just completed School of the Future, a Bill Gates/Microsoft project in Philadelphia.
When EPV opens its new module manufacturing facility in October, it will continue its custom manufacturing for BIPV designs on Bakers Basin Road.
Both Terra Solar and EPV make modules and sell turnkey systems, so they are, theoretically, competitors. But in important things, (the corporate equivalent of borrowing a cup of sugar), Kiss makes a point of saying, "we cooperate."
EPV (Energy Photovoltaics Inc.), 276 Bakers Basin Road, Box 7456, Princeton 08543-7456; 609-587-3000; fax, 609-587-5355. Home page: www.epv.net